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Behind the Numbers
Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 06/20/2008

Post-Primary Views of Clinton

In the first Washington Post-ABC News poll since she ended her presidential bid, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's favorability ratings have rebounded after reaching a campaign low-point in April.

After dipping toward the end of the long Democratic nomination battle, Clinton's favorability rating is once again in positive territory: 54 percent now have a positive view of the junior senator from New York; 43 percent said they see her unfavorably.

Nearly all of the improvement in the public's view comes from whites, whose favorable views jumped 11 points to 49 percent ("strongly" favorable views went up six to 24 percent). The proportion of whites holding strongly unfavorable views fell from an election-cycle high of 44 percent in April to 31 percent in the new poll.

At the same time, Clinton failed to make up any of her lost ground among African Americans. Her overall favorability among blacks group remained stable - 68 percent in April and 67 percent now - following a 13-point decline shortly after her big New Hampshire victory in January.

Although much of Clinton's campaign success derived from support among women, positive perceptions of her rose about evenly across gender lines: Favorable views of Clinton are up 10 points among men, nine among women.

And little of the improvement comes from fellow Democrats. Instead, favorable reviews of Clinton are up eight points among Republicans and 14 points among independents (her favorability among independents had dropped 20 points from January to April; it now stands in positive territory with a narrow majority expressing a favorable view).

She also picked up steam among those who wanted Barack Obama to win the Democratic primaries, improving by 10 percentage points among these voters to 63 percent favorable. Among her own supporters, more than nine in 10 express a positive view, about the same as in April.

But none of this may be enough to boost her chances of becoming Obama's running mate. Overall, 23 percent said adding Clinton to the ticket would make them more apt to vote Democratic in November, but about as many, 22 percent, would move toward the GOP should Clinton get a spot on the Democratic slate.

The prospects are worse among those not already supporting Obama; just 12 percent of those not backing the Illinois senator in this poll would be more likely to vote for him if Clinton were his selection, while 37 percent would be more inclined to choose John McCain.

And among those groups so key to Clinton's success in the primaries? Looking at whites without a college degree and white women of all partisan leanings, Clinton wouldn't do much to bring in these groups. More in each segment would be pushed toward McCain and his eventual running mate should Obama add Clinton to the ticket than would be more apt to support the Democrats.

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  07:00 AM ET, 06/20/2008

Categories:  Post Polls

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